Facebook’s billionaire founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will not be giving evidence as part of a UK parliamentary inquiry into fake news.
Zuckerberg, has however, “personally asked one of his deputies”, to attend the inquiry, the company said in a letter.
A letter sent to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee and addressed to its chair Damian Collins, by Facebook’s head of public policy Rebecca Stimson stated Facebook would putting forward Mike Schroepfer, the firm’s chief technology officer, or its chief product officer, Chris Cox.
Stimson explained Schroepfer and Cox reported directly to Zuckerberg and were among the longest-serving senior representatives in the tech giant’s 15 year history.
“Both of them have extensive expertise in these issues and are well placed to answer the committee’s questions on these complex subjects,” she added.
The letter went on to highlight that one of the two employees would be able to appear before the committee after the Easter parliamentary recess, which comes to a halt on 16th April.
Despite this, Collins urged Zuckerberg to attend and give evidence either in person or via video link.
“We believe, given the serious nature of the allegations that have been made around the access and use of Facebook user data, that it is appropriate that Mark Zuckerberg should give evidence to the committee.
“He has suggested that Chris Cox, the chief product officer at Facebook, could come to London to give evidence to the committee in the first week after the Easter recess. So we would be very happy to invite Mr Cox to give evidence. However, we would still like to hear from Mr Zuckerberg as well,” he said during the opening of the committee hearing, adding:
“We will seek to clarify from Facebook whether he is available to give evidence or not, because that wasn’t clear from our correspondence. If he is available to give evidence then we would be happy to do that either in person or by video link, if that would be more convenient for him.”